In Hairy Bikers’ Mediterranean Adventure ep.3: the bikers’ Corsican adventure begins in Bonifacio in the south of the island. They head straight for one of the best delis in town to scope out the local cuisine, including the legendary sausage figatelli. Tony, the owner, tells them that there is a holy trinity of ingredients that makes up the basics of Corsican food – meat, cheese and chestnuts. He suggests that the best way for the bikers to understand what makes Corsicans tick is to meet the producers.
This gives them a clear mission for their trip across the island, starting with a world-class meat producer. Jacques Abbatucci raises a unique breed of cattle, the vache tigre or tiger-cow, a breed recognisable by its distinctive stripes. His free-range and organic approach results in some of the best meat that the bikers have ever eaten.
Their next foray into the island’s interior takes them to the high plateau where another producer is raising rare-breed pigs. Again, the animals roam freely, grazing on chestnuts in the autumn. Here the charcuterie leaves them in awe. As they lunch with the producer, they also taste a cake made with chestnut flour, another part of the trinity of Corsican flavours. As they travel, they pass through vast forests of chestnut trees and begin to understand the importance of chestnut flour in local cuisine.
Hairy Bikers’ Mediterranean Adventure ep.3 dishes:
Corsican Swiss chard and ricotta dumplings baked in a roasted red pepper sauce.
2. Courgette gratin
This simple gratin makes a great side dish as it’s creamy and flavoursome without being too rich. Serve with a salad for a light supper.
3. Stuffed mussels
Ideally you should use large mussels in this Corsican recipe, but you can’t always guarantee they will be big here in the UK. You can double up two mussels into one shell if necessary.
4. Veal and olive stew
British rose veal shoulder works really well for this stew, but you could also use stewing steak. In Corsica this is generally served with pasta.